Monday, September 30, 2013

A Wicked File Folder Mini Album

Hello Hello
Welcome, Hope all of you out there in the world had a great week/weekend. Just wanted to jump in here real quick and give you a heads up on my latest Halloween Mini Album. This one was made using file folders (recycled) that I picked up at Staples a little while back.

The paper collection I used was My Mind's Eye Wicked Merchant Malvado. The main colors throughout were of course black, orange, kraft, and then a little bit of green. It had a very good assortment of patterns and prints, the labels print is probably my favorite.

I created the book's pages by folding up my file folder. I knew I wanted it to have pockets so I tried a couple of different ways of folding it until I came up with something that worked for me. What I ended up going with is probably going to be something I do again in the near future. I really liked the final outcome of this book.

I liked that the pages not only ended up with lots of pockets but it also had a couple of flip outs, which added in space value.

I also really liked working with the kraft color along with the files themselves because together they have such a personality, and it pretty much goes with everything making it super simple.

Now being that I bound the book only 'halfway' so that my pages would work properly, I had to be confident that the binding would hold, so I used the hidden hinge system and then backed it with tyvek (which is a paper/fabric type of material) that I found in the shipping supplies at Staples. I believe it will do the job, but on the other side of the spine I needed a way to close that because once I get all my photos and extras in, it's gonna I added a ribbon in while I put the spine on so that I could tie the book shut if need be.

I really do like this one, I think that this mini has a lot of potential and I am going to maybe try doing something for Christmas with it.
Alright that's all I had for today, thanks for checking in. If you'd like to see more of the mini, check out the video!


just B

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Feis Album Showcase

Hello Hello

Welcome to my 1st showcase -

Today I want to share with you a project that has been very near and dear to me. My best friend asked me about 2 years ago to make her daughter a 'traditional' scrapbook to collect all the photos and ephemera from her first year of Irish Dance. 

To be completely honest I am not a traditional scrapbooker, 
I prefer to call what I do…

Scrap Art

So naturally I said to my best friend, "Sure absolutely, when would you like it?" 
We settled on me having it done by her birthday which gave me more than enough time and well…

I waited



and waited some more

(i'm a bit of a procrastinator if it weren't for the last minute 
i wouldn't get a thing done) 

What was I really waiting for? 
For the fear to pass, and not only that but the dread and the panic…
I mean after all this is my best friend - has been since the 6th grade - and what if I disappoint?
I had so much stress about it that I lost about half of the time that we agreed on.
So then of course I went straight into 'Panic’ mode and well…
You may be asking yourself, 
"why in the world would you say yes if it was going to be such a stressful undertaking?"

Good Question!

I like stress & panic

but seriously I'll tell ya what do like:
...I like a challenge
...I like to shake things up
...I like to dare something new 
...I like to jump out of my comfort zone 
(even if in this case i was so far out i may as well have jumped right outta my skin)





I did it!!! 
I refused to let my fear scare me 
I refused to let my insecurity intimidate my creativity 
I refused to let my head out smart my heart
I refused to say NO
I decided to
I think that there are a lot of great truths out there, that are there for the taking, for the owning; we just have to be willing not to bullshit ourselves into to thinking that we aren't good enough, or worthy enough - but on the same hand we have to not lie to ourselves about who and what we really are. I got caught up in all my fear and insecurity (which stem from other areas in my life) that it really did almost disable me but then I got to thinking...if this were me having to cater for a special celebration then I would have absolutely every right to those thoughts and feelings of not being good enough, but this is crafting & creating that we were talking about and by God I might not be a cook and nor will I ever claim to be but I am for damn sure a crafter.
I am a creative person - I always have been, 
I am a visual person, and I am a passionate person 
so if there is one thing I know to be true about myself, it's that if I put my mind to tackle what my heart already knows, nothing is going to stop me from doing what I love, 
not even me.
So as the saying goes, 
"the rest is history".

Now about the album:
I used an American Crafts black cloth covered 3 ring binder with 20 8 1/2 by 11 pages protectors.  This one also has a photo frame on the front cover for a 4 x 5 picture - I think. You may have counted the layouts and yes there are only 16, I did this on purpose because I wanted Tami to have a couple of blank spots to insert dance schedules and awards and maybe a couple of extra large photos so that all the details in her daughter's dress(es) wouldn't go unnoticed. The paper packs I used were Posh from Teresa Collins and also the Be Mine by Echo Park Paper Co. I have used lots and lots of other products throughout and although I wish I had now, I did not at the time keep track of unfortunately I can not give you any more details or brand names other than what I've already listed - I apologize. What I can tell you however is that this album is super interactive. I have added everything that I could think to add in. There are tags that pull out, there are some that tuck in, there is a mini book that has several pages for journaling, there is a photo frame for 'the' picture to be added, there's even one photo mat that has a ribbon that can be tied around it, and there is an entire page that has a 'top 10' to fill in, I even added a zipper that actually functions.
  So there you have it, a completed scrap book album that eventually will be filled to the brim with lots & lots of photos and ephemera - bits & pieces from here and there - but most importantly it will hold safe all the moments that have now become some wonderful, cherished memories. I hope that my best friend and her daughter are able to look back through this time and time again and just be filled with joy and fondness for the journey that they both embarked on together. Tami for her love of all things Irish and her little girl who just wanted to dance to the music.

I am eager, as with my own two daughters, to see how our girls grow up - the women they will become. I think that we as mothers of daughters realize the struggle to raise a girl who is confident but not conceited, a girl who is kind-hearted but not a push-over, someone who is intelligent & independent but who can also enjoy life and love.

So to all of us mothers with daughters,  I raise my glass to us!  Let us become the examples  that we want our daughters to be, let us not sit aside and be idle, let us stand up & dust ourselves off because… 

It's Time To Dance!!




Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Halloween Mini 2013

Hello Hello

I trust you all had a good weekend and got a couple of crafty things done too.  Did any of you take a minute to check out the photo wallet? Any thoughts to share, pretty simple huh? I thought that you might like that.

For today I want to share with you all some 
exciting news

My Etsy Shop is now officially open
This was a very big decision for me because there are a million factors that come into play when you start your own business, and that's just the ones I have thought of, there are probably a million more that I haven't even considered yet...But now is the time I believe.  I have wanted to take this leap of faith for awhile now and it never seemed like the timing was right, but is the timing ever right to follow your dreams? So here I am back to where I always end up...wanting to take the LEAP and so...
I DID-Can you believe it-I'm still pinching myself.

So without further babbling on my part I want to share with you the very first piece I have listed for sale.  This is a beautiful finished 6 x 6 Halloween mini album. I did a long envelope styled book (inspired by this) using 6 x 9 catalog envelopes and completed it within a couple of hours. The paper pack I used is Michael's store brand Recollections Midnight Magic - Haunted 6 x 6 pad. The reason I chose this is because of the black, white, and purple color scheme. The neutral background gives you a lot of room to play with all the colorful photos that we all end up with after Halloween is over. I think this coloring will help to high light those wonderful memorable photos rather than be distracting.

The mini book has 3 pages, 3 pockets, and lots of spots to journal on. In the two previous photos you can see where 2 of those pockets are hidden - yep that's right those two are hiding so if there's some extra special photos or ephemera that you want to tuck in so that they don't get all the wear & tear - then that's where you can hide them.  The final pocket is on the left page, the opening is right smack in the middle of the page. You'll notice also from the photos that I have included some die-cuts, they have all been stamped with a background image to give them some visual weight and they have also all been inked around the edges to give them some definition.

As for the spine and the cover, I just distressed and inked and distressed some more then inked some more...
well you get the idea
it's grungy totally

The cover has a mixed media treatment that allowed me to capture my skeleton behind some cheese cloth, then I stamped a couple of spooky images - cut them out - distressed them - inked them - then adhered them in a layered pattern on the cover. On the spine I have added a felt spider web ribbon from a Martha Stewart collection that is now several years old, but man it makes a really cool spine. I try very hard to incorporate a lot of my older products with the newer stuff, but I try to do it in a way that someone who only kinda pays attention to the scrap book market wouldn't be able to pick it out like a sore thumb - I want it to blend in and well, that's hard to do sometimes, especially if you've been scrappin' as long as I have.

Alright well there we go...Below is a link to my video about this mini album, hope that you'll take a minute to check it out. I also just want to mention that if any of you have any questions or any advice - please just leave me a comment and let me know, I will do my best to get back with you in a timely manner and I would appreciate your time and your thoughts

just B

((I have 3 of these available-please use my link in the Etsy tab @ the top to go directly to my NEW Shop - thanks))

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Idea Wallet

Hello Hello - how are you?
How was your week? Do you have anything creative planned for this weekend? I don't have much time myself to do anything real big but I wanted to share with you something small I made several weeks ago. I found a tutorial on YouTube that I thought would be quick and easy and I was not disappointed. 

You should check it out, give it a try and let me know what you think? I promise it is super fast and that's not even the best part...

All you need to create it is...
one 12 x 12 sheet of double sided pattern paper 
and a bone folder


Now in my wallet, you'll see I have a couple of blank cards tucked into a couple of spots, this was my idea - to use it as an 'idea' wallet rather than a photo wallet. Also you may have noticed the elastic band that is wrapped around it, that was just something I made in case I had a couple of loose notes that I wanted to add in later, but until then I didn't want to worry about losing them. 

So here you go...a quick and easy idea to try this weekend. GO on now and see what you can create - then get your bumm back here and let me know what you think.  To get to the tutorial that I used, just follow the link below, I've taken you right to it.

just B

ps - have fun!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

                                      (join me next week)

Hi everyone, just wanted to give you all a heads up that next week I will be sharing with you a scrapbook album that I made for my best friend last year. Her daughter is an Irish dancer and so she asked me to make something extra special to celebrate her first year within the Irish dancing community, it just so happens that the academy where she trains has the signature colors of Black & Pink.

So join me next week right here as I take you through my completed album, which I will confess was a HUGE undertaking for me. I am not a 'traditional' scrapbooker - I like to refer to my style as 'scrap art' - so this was new and exciting and terrifying all at once because my only hope was that I did Aisling justice.

Friday, September 20, 2013

"It's a Nice Day for a White Wedding" - Billy Idol

So you're getting married eh'?  Well do I have something sweet and elegant but yet super simple for you.

It's a 'Smash' Wedding Album

I made this particular one for my girlfriend two years ago, it is just one in a handful that I have made over the years for my friends and family.  
When I created this album several years back for a friend after she got engaged, my thought was to not be main stream because I am not really a traditional 'order from the registry' type of friend. I wanted to 'make' her something that she couldn't 'buy' from just anywhere. I wanted it to be a 'collect all' for her journey into a new life with the man she loves. So I suppose this was my version of a 'smash' album before Smash albums were ever sold because my thought for this album was essentially the same.  

I knew after having done the whole wedding thing that you end up with a whole bunch of stuff. Nothing as important as the photos by any means but still things that you really don't want to just throw away; because it all somehow still reminds you of the chaos, the headaches, the appointments, the hundreds of dresses that you just had to try on because it 'might be the one'...till ultimately you remember the who. 

 Yep it's true, I'm a female and I still don't understand it yet, and I've been there, done that. But we as women can't part with even the tiniest scrap of paper if somehow it reminds us of 'why' - why we fell in love, why we said yes, why we pull our hair out trying to figure him out. So I say, "Keep It"!  You heard me, keep it, keep it in a safe place - so that in those dire moments when you're screamin' at yourself in the mirror, "what was I thinkin'" - you'll have this small little treasure to remind you, to comfort you, to heal you -
at least that's what I'm hoping for.

So now you want to know where in the heck can you get one of these...well it just so happens that very soon I will be offering these in my Etsy shop (custom orders will be available), unless of course you want to just...make your very own which I encourage - because they are super easy. 

My front & back covers are cut from medium weight chipboard to 8 x 8; then I covered the outsides of those with this gorgeous shimmery white paper that I found @ my LSS, for the inside I used a black cardstock because it added more stability without the bulk and that's what looked good to me. For the binding I used my Zutter Bind-It-All but you could very easily use your Crop-A-Dile and bind it with book rings or ribbon, it's completely up to you. After I had my holes punched for the binding, I decided to add an extra inner layer to each of my inside covers, first because the black was just a touch to much but secondly because I wanted to give it...'flare' but not just an in-your-face kind of flare - I wanted it to flow with the whole piece, giving it a subtle elegance. I think it is rather nice, I was able to use a Martha Stewart punch that made a pattern around the whole piece, but yet I intentionally kept it small enough not to get caught up in the binding, that's where that 'elegance' comes in.

 Now for the cover, which is really the most important thing - because that's what will draw people in; I tend not to stress too much about it. But with that said - I always think through it thoroughly before I ever finish off the inside of the cover, for the simple fact that if I want to use a brad to hold my face plate in place, I don't want the prongs showing on the other (inside) side. So I do all the needed work on the outside of the cover before I ever finish off the inside of the cover. That black cardstock that was just 'too much' - is actually hiding all my work - if you will. As for the cover design, like I said, I don't stress on it.  

I know myself and I know that for me, my cover usually has 3 main components:  
1) I always include a name plate
2)  I always use a ribbon down the same side as the binding
3)  I put lots of tiny flowers in and around that name plate

Having these 3 elements not only give it interest and texture, it gives you a hint of the story inside. Perfect example: the name - it is worth a thousand words to some and especially to those of us who have taken someone else's name and call it our own.
Would you agree?

 Alright so here we are with the finishing touches, yes we have to have those too. As you can see within my binding wires I have also included some charms that dangle from a chain. My thought for using chain was actually due more to the male perspective of getting married - the 'ball and chain' theory just because that's my sense-of-humor, but upon further notice you will see (hopefully) that my chain has pearl's ('balls'-metaphorically speaking) on it because's a good ball & chain : ) 
and the charms well...
they're pretty and they help support the idea - what with the lock and the key and the heart but more importantly the circle (being symbolic) which binds the two together - as does the concept of wedding rings.

what do ya think?

I'd love to know
leave me a comment if you so desire
...thanks for peeking

just B

Friday, September 6, 2013


Lantern Room @ Pemaquid Lightstation on the coast of Maine

Oh my my, how long it has been.

Okay, where to jump in at? That is the question. I have come to terms with the fact that I will never be a 'true' blogger, I just can't quite find the time or the dedication that it takes to post several times a week, as much as I would love to do that, I know me and it's not gonna happen - BUT...
 I cannot not post anything, it's been driving me crazy here lately that it's been oh so long....
I enjoy sharing a special part of me along with things that inspire me to be creative. My thoughts and reasons are just an extension of that so...
here it is...

I have been working like a mad woman over the last several weeks to get some projects wrapped up - and I do have lots and lots to share with you. I have also been attempting You Tube, so maybe here in the next few weeks you can look for that as well. Also I'm in the mindset to actually put some of my handmade minis in my Etsy shop...yes I have one of those as well and just haven't ever posted anything to it...afraid that maybe my stuff wouldn't sell, but I'm past that now and honestly believe I have lots of things worth sharing (and selling), so maybe some time you could even take a look there as well, never know what might strike your fancy right?
 It's been a long road of sorts for me here lately, I've always had the attitude "let's wait just a little bit longer and see where we end up" - well I know where I end up, it's always here...wanting to just GO FOR IT - so the time is now, I have to do so I don't keep wondering 'what if'?
 Wish me luck!
just B